De Bow's Review

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DeBow's Review
De Bows Review from 1857 (146665459).jpg
Founder(s)J. D. B. De Bow
Ceased publication1884

DeBow's Review was a widely circulated magazine[1][page needed] of "agricultural, commercial, and industrial progress and resource" in the American South during the upper middle of the nineteenth century, from 1846 until 1884.[1] Before the Civil War, the magazine "recommended the best practices for wringing profits from slaves".[2][full citation needed] It bore the name of its first editor, James Dunwoody Brownson DeBow (J. D. B. DeBow, 1820–1867) who wrote much in the early issues; however, there were various writers over the years (see below: Contributors). R. G. Barnwell and Edwin Q. Bell, of Charleston, appeared as editors in March 1867, after DeBow's death,[3] and W. M. Burwell was editor from March 1868–Dec. 1879.[1]

Publication history[edit]

This magazine was often published monthly, with several interruptions, from January 1846 until June 1880,[1][full citation needed] then changed up through 1884.[1][page needed] The magazine's publication was disrupted during the American Civil War after August 1864 but resumed publication again in January 1866. After 1880, it underwent a number of name revisions, and in 1884,[1][full citation needed] it was either renamed to or absorbed by the Agricultural Review and Industrial Monthly of New York.[1][page needed] (DeBow himself had died in 1867).

DeBow began this magazine in New Orleans in January 1846 as the Commercial Review of the South and West.[1][page needed] It was published in New Orleans almost every year, except 1865 when disrupted and 1864, when based in Columbia, SC.[1] He also published it in other cities as well: in Washington, D.C., between 1853 and 1857 (during his tenure as Head of the U.S. Census), continuing until 1860,[1][full citation needed] then in Charleston, SC, 1861–1862. By the start of the Civil War, it was the most widely circulated southern periodical. DeBow wrote much of each issue himself.

The editors of DeBow's Review were:[1] from Jan. 1846 to Feb. 1867, J. D. B. DeBow; from April 1867 to Feb. 1868, R. G. Barnwell and E. Q. Bell; from March 1868 to Dec. 1879, W. M. Burwell. DeBow's Review was published in New Orleans, 1846–52; then New Orleans and Washington, DC, 1853–60; New Orleans and Charleston, SC, 1861–62; only Columbia, SC in 1864; then again in New Orleans/etc. during 1866–80.[1][full citation needed]


Prior to the American Civil War of 1861–1865, the journal contained everything from agricultural reports, statistical data, and economic analysis to literature, political opinion, and commentary. The magazine took an increasingly pro-Southern and eventually secessionist perspective in the late 1850s and early 1860s.[1][full citation needed] It defended slavery in response to abolitionism, published an article in the 1850s that urged the South to resume the African slave trade, and advocated Southern nationalism as the Civil War approached.[1][full citation needed]

After the war, the magazine resumed publication on commercial, political, and cultural topics, urging acceptance of the Reconstruction program of the Union under President Johnson,[1] and even printed articles from former abolitionists.


DeBow's Review is known for several famous historical figures - both esteemed and controversial - who published material in the magazine:

Other contributors from 1847 to 1867 included R. G. Barnwell, Edwin Q. Bell, and William MacCreary Burwell.[1][4][full citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "DEBOW'S REVIEW" (publication titles/dates/locations/notes), APS II, Reels 382 & 383, webpage: Eu-DeBows. Archived February 20, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ The Atlantic June 2014 Page 64. However, The Atlantic cited no references and no sources for their ipse dixit.
  3. ^ A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from Its Discovery, 1873, Joseph Sabin, Wilberforce Eames, Bibliographical Society of America, Robert William Glenroie Vail; p.291, at Google Books, 2008, webpage: Books-Google-Dictionary-of-Books.
  4. ^ Debow's Review, Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial Progress, Google Books, 1847, webpage: Books-Google-Debow's-PPT1.

Further reading[edit]

  • Fuhlhage, Michael. "The Mexican Image through Southern Eyes: De Bow's Review in the Era of Manifest Destiny." American Journalism 30.2 (2013): 182–209.
  • Kvach, John F. De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2013.

Primary sources[edit]

  • Paskoff, Paul F., and Daniel J. Wilson, eds. The Cause of the South: Selections from De Bow's Review, 1846-1867 (LSU Press, 1982)


  • Nachman, Selma (January–April 1912). "A collation of De Bow's review, giving the date, the numbering, and the title of each issue and volume, from 1846 to 1880". Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of America. 4 (1–2): 27–32.

External links[edit]